How Long is Leash for Wilmer Flores?

Little things like fundamentals and defense are overlooked when a team is hitting and winning; those little things become glaring when the bats cool off and close games are lost.

For example, did anyone notice — or care — that Wilmer Flores was making more errors than the average shortstop in the month of April, while the Mets were on an 11-game winning streak? Not really … but people did notice that Ian Desmond was brandishing an iron glove while the Nationals struggled out of the gate.

Today, that 11-game winning streak seems like it happened years ago. Ian Desmond has switched to a different glove, and the Nationals are catching up to the now-fading Mets. What have you noticed about the Mets over the past two weeks? Lack of offense, for sure. Mediocre defense. Lacking in fundamentals. And you wouldn’t be alone — Terry Collins feels the same way. As does MetsToday reader and commenter “David.”

Over the winter, the Mets insisted they were comfortable with Wilmer Flores as their everyday shortstop. Never mind that he projected as a below-average MLB shortstop — he’d hit enough to make up for it, and besides, all the other shortstops available via trade and free agency weren’t THAT MUCH BETTER than how the Mets projected Flores.

I’m still trying to figure out how the Mets brain trust came up with that conclusion. After the pitcher and the catcher, the shortstop is the most important defensive player. It would be NICE to get above-average offensive production from the position, but defense is the priority. Did the Mets find advanced stats that downplay a shortstop’s defensive performance? Did they find a statistic suggesting that a minimum OPS would outweigh a minimum fielding rate (pick your poison — fielding percentage, UZR, rPM, DRS, RZR)? Did they think that Flores would suddenly blossom defensively, after being moved from the position as an 18-year-old and showing less-than-adequate skills at the two flanking, less-athletic positions of 3B and 2B?

Wilmer Flores is a nice kid. He’s a hard worker. He busts his butt, particularly in the field. He’s trying his absolute best. We know this because he regularly dives for balls and gets dirty. As a fan of baseball, I appreciate all of that. But it doesn’t make him a Major League shortstop, any more than that same hearty effort makes Daniel Murphy a Major League second baseman. Both players sometimes look good because they’re jumping and diving — at balls that an average defender handles without the acrobatics. It makes for good drama and web-gem highlights, but doesn’t help win ballgames.

The theory set forth by the Mets front office was that Flores would hit enough to make up for his defensive woes. In Thursday’s game in Chicago, that theory fell flat. Flores hit a solo homer to give the Mets a run, but his two miscues in the field in the fifth frame led to five Cubs runs. Yes, TWO miscues — though only one was counted as an “error” by the official scorer. The “infield single” by Jorge Soler leading off the inning was a gift — an average big-league shortstop makes that play.

Flores’ inadequacies didn’t begin in Wrigley Field, and they won’t end soon. Thursday afternoon was simply a glaring example of why a Major League team will have a hard time getting to the playoffs with substandard defense. And not to isolate Flores as the root of all the Mets’ defensive woes — Murphy, wherever he is placed, is a liability. The outfield corners are allowing hits and extra bases on a nightly basis. When Juan Lagares is not patrolling center, the inefficiency of the corners is exacerbated. And yes, even with superior defense, the Mets still need to score runs — but Flores isn’t adding enough on that front, either. Five home runs is a nice figure for a shortstop this early in the season, but a .238 AVG / .287 OBP / .713 OPS looks like the line of a “good field / no-hit” shorstop rather than an “offensive-minded” shortstop. How long can the Mets continue to get neither fielding nor hitting from Wilmer Flores?

Mets management continues to say that Flores is their shortstop — for now. My guess is Flores will need to get on a hot streak at the plate immediately to remain the everyday shortstop going forward. The first alternative is Ruben Tejada, who we know isn’t likely to offer much offensively, but who will be at least average defensively. Matt Reynolds has cooled off a bit after a hot start in Las Vegas, but he’s still a possibility. Many Mets fans have been clamoring for Reynolds, but I wonder if that’s because they know something as opposed to him being new and shiny; we won’t know for sure unless / until he’s given a chance in the bigs. And of course there is the pipe dream of Troy Tulowitzki, but I’m not seeing it happening in the next month, if at all. Another solution from outside the organization, perhaps, but before Reynolds gets an audition? I’m not sure.

What do you think? How long is the leash on Wilmer Flores? Does he have another week before the Mets explore other options? A month? Does he make it through this weekend? What does he need to do to stay? Do you envision Flores playing shortstop for the Mets in September? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Extragooey May 15, 2015 at 2:13 pm
    You’re seriously knocking Flores for that play against Soler? Did you see the play? Average shortstop play? I highly doubt that.

    Flores has been pretty solid defensively since his 2 games benching before that high throw. He is leading the Mets in home runs, which probably says to how terrible the Met offense is.

    I’m okay still going with Flores. If they wanna try Reynolds, that’s fine with me as well. But I would like to give Flores until the All-Star break to see what he can do with the bat. If he’s struggling then, then time for a change.

    A little bit of treating Flores as the scapegoat here. What about Recker’s passball? What about Granderson’s terrible defense in center. I know he hasn’t played center in a while, so maybe we can excuse that.

    I wouldn’t look at Tulo as a pipe dream. My pipe dream is getting maybe someone like Addison Russell. I’d trade Matz or Syndergaard. Gotta give quality for quality.

    • Joe Janish May 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm
      I’m seriously knocking the decision of the Mets to put Flores at shortstop. And yes, saw the play, watched on replay six times, and concluded that an average MLB shortstop makes that play.

      Have you watched MLB games this year? I see shortstops throughout MLB making that play. It’s not a routine play nor an easy play but it’s a play that can be made by today’s caliber of MLB shortstop. Flores made it look more difficult than it was because he didn’t react quickly and his feet are slow. That’s my opinion, and you’re welcome to disagree — the official scorer sides with you, so there you go. But regardless of that one specific play, Flores already has made 8 errors in 29 games — on pace to make over 40 by the end of the season — and there are other examples of an official scorer providing gifts that could have increased Flores’ error total even higher.

      But just sticking with the generous official scorers — there has been nothing “solid” about Flores defense. Not in April, not yesterday, not in the time since his benching.

      Flores the scapegoat? Hardly. The scapegoat is non-stick Sandy Alderson, sporting a teflon blazer. Alderson is the reason Flores is in a position he should not be playing.

      Why not pick on Recker’s passed ball? I suppose I could, but a) he’s been behind the plate only three times this month, and his defense in general hasn’t been a major contributor to the Mets’ recent slide; b) passed balls are often the fault of miscommunication and/or unfamiliarity between pitcher and catcher, so I can’t put full blame on Recker, considering that he and Robles haven’t had much experience together; c) the passed ball resulted in run #6 — there were five other runs scored previously; d) Recker’s 2 solo homers gave the Mets 2 runs, so call it a +1 if you want to fault him on the run scoring.

      Granderson’s terrible defense? Agreed. And again, whose fault was it that Granderson was playing CF? Like Flores, Granderson is doing his best. I don’t blame the player, I blame the people who put him in a situation to fail. Further to that point, I blame Mets management for expecting Granderson and Cuddyer to be everyday players. They’re best suited to be a two-headed DH in the Adulterated League; for the Mets, at best, a platoon situation in one of the corners and you cross your fingers and hold your breath. But because of their reputations and salaries, they’re immovable for now. Flores is an experiment that needs to end soon. That doesn’t make Flores a scapegoat nor is that placing blame on him — again, it’s the fault of management.

      I doubt the Cubs are trading away Russell or Castro this year. Javier Baez, on the other hand, could be available, though he is error-prone at shortstop as well (though he appears to have better tools than Flores). I’d trade Matz or Syndergaard for Baez in a second — but I doubt the Mets would.

      • Extragooey May 15, 2015 at 6:33 pm
        Of all the SS in the MLB pipeline you wanna trade one of your big prospects for Baez?!?! There are at least 10 SS ahead of him!

        The Mets struggles recently, you can point to lack of offense and mental errors, at the top of the list. I just don’t think Flores’ defense is up there. Sure, is he the best option there? probably not. But you have to work with what you have. Benching Flores for Reynolds or Tejada would not have reversed any of those loses in this stretch.

        • Joe Janish May 17, 2015 at 10:49 am
          Yes, I trade a fragile arm like Syndergaard/Matz for Baez any day of the week, absolutely. I don’t know of a better potentially available middle infielder under age 30.

          We’ll agree to disagree on the quality of Flores’ defense.

          Next question?

        • Extragooey May 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm
          How come I can’t reply to your reply? Maybe fix that on the website?

          I think Flores’ defense is subpar. But we knew that going in. The idea is to see if his offense makes up for it. Kinda like Murphy.

          Next question? Okay. Did you also approve of the Kazmir for Zambrano trade? 🙂

        • Joe Janish May 17, 2015 at 11:56 pm
          After a certain number of replies, can’t reply to the reply. I don’t do website programming any more, so can’t fix it.

          This discussion has run its course. You think it’s OK for a MLB team with its goal of postseason play to have Flores at SS. I don’t. No point arguing further. We’d be better off discussing politics.

      • Bat May 16, 2015 at 9:35 pm
        Baez is a boom or bust player.

        Not just on the micro level, where he Ks a lot or gets an extra base hit, but on a macro level where he might be an All Star but might also never be a AAAA player who never sticks in the majors

        I’m not sure Baez ever figures it out….

        • Joe Janish May 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm
          But you’re sure Flores figures it out?

          I’m not sure Syndergaard and Matz will ever remain healthy enough to pitch more than 2 or 3 productive seasons before they reach the age of 30. Considering that, and the fact the Mets have a surplus of arms, I’d deal from strength and roll the dice on a very close to MLB-ready bat that the Mets don’t currently have.

  2. Dan Capwell May 15, 2015 at 3:24 pm
    I think Flores’ leash is longer than Collins’. Terry will be the first to go and I stand by my earlier post that he is gone by July 4. Hopefully his successor isn’t an some interim guy.

    Some of the recent comments about having no place to upgrade makes me wonder just how committed this organization is to winning. It infuriates me that they had years to fix some of their weaknesses and have never done so. Instead, they wait for the farm system. Other than Matz, most of the other projectable help is in Single-A. Wait some more, I guess.

  3. Original Met May 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm
    We have made almost no progress in getting a true evaluation of Flores after almost four months as a regular. We knew he would be a sub-standard but hopefully not horrid shortstop (good hands, bad feet, strong but inconsistent arm), and he’s been all of that. We thought he might hit enough to justify the D, but it is still impossible to draw a conclusion. Good power, decent RBI production, low average. But the question is: how many teams struggling to score runs will bench their home run leader? That by itself requires a continuation of this gamble. I have thought all along we would have an answer by Memorial Day, but now I’m not so sure.
  4. Reese May 15, 2015 at 4:54 pm
    What frustrates me is that until about 10 days ago the genius who fills out the lineup card batted their number one home run hitter 8th with only the pitcher behind him. Talk about setting up someone to fail. I though Terry’s head might explode this year with Flores, Plawecki, Herrera and sometimes others, all of whom he feels compelled to bat 8th.

    Here’s a radical thought…since Flores is leading the team in HRs, why not try him at 3-4-5 in the batting order to show some confidence and see if his offense can compensate for his defense? If not, pull the plug. However, TC continues to set people up to fail and for that alone he needs to go. I won’t even get into the “blame the veterans” speech he made today instead of embracing accountability as leaders should.

    • Joe Janish May 17, 2015 at 10:46 am
      Flores is clearly more productive in the 9-hole. 😉
  5. david May 15, 2015 at 6:08 pm
    The problem with Flores is made worse by management’s decision a few years ago to move him from shortstop because they thought his defence was inadequate but loved his bat. When Tejada flopped and the team was too tight to get a MLB player Flores became an option, and one I was happy to advocate given Tejada was performing so poorly. My thinking at the time was one of the two would step up, and to an extent that was Flores whose D was ok last year albeit not exactly Rey Ordonez.

    With Flores struggling, I can’t understand why Terry plays him when Niese pitches. We’ve seen it several times this year – Niese buries inside fastballs and breaking pitches against RH hitters who inevitably pull the ball to the left side of the infield. Makes sense to play Tejada, but at 3B? Curious move esp. when Murphy has been hitting well of late.

    Bottom line is Mets need to put the right player in the right position to succeed. I am not sure they are doing so.

    • Dan B May 16, 2015 at 10:33 am
      I am surprised more people didn’t comment about Tejada playing third. The Mets knew Wright has been breaking down and yet they never found a decent backup for him (or the corner outfielders or firstbase). The Mets are one pulled hamstrung away from extended John Mayberry play. Lack of depth will haunt this team in the dog days of summer. Ironically, the Mets have depth at shortstop, they just lack a starter.
  6. Bat May 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm
    I believe in Flores’ bat, and so does Janish’s idol Wally Backman:

    Joe hits on many of the reasons I like Flores:

    Wilmer Flores is a nice kid. He’s a hard worker. He busts his butt, particularly in the field. He’s trying his absolute best.

    Another reason I like Flores is that he gets crapped on by Janish and everyone else, and he never seems like a Gregg Jeffries-type, resentful or annoyed by all the criticism – Flores is a professional, and I like that.

    Yet another reason to like Flores is that he is still 23 years old, and won’t turn 24 years old until August.

    I believe in the bat, but I will admit that as I watch Mets games this year I kind of hold my breath whenever the ball is hit to him.

    I do think, and have written posts about this since the early winter on this blog, that if the Mets had at least a slightly above average 2B, this would help Flores perform at an average level, which I believe would be sufficient given the offense that he might be able to provide.

    If you put a gun to my head, and ask me whether I want Flores at SS or Murphy at 2B, I take Flores based on (1) what I’ve seen in the field from both players to date, but also (2) Flores’ age and the potential he may improve over the next year or two. Many of his errors are of the throwing variety, and I think if he calms down and feels a bit more secure in his position those will decrease.

    I think the real answer is putting Herrera back at 2B after he gets off the DL so that there is a decent defensive 2B, and giving Flores some more time to see what his bat and glove can do.

    • Joe Janish May 17, 2015 at 10:45 am
      Why do you accuse me of criticizing your idol Wilmer Flores? I’ll repeat — AGAIN — it’s not Flores’ fault he’s playing out of position, it’s the fault of management.

      Flores’ throwing errors occur because his feet and movements are too slow for shortstop and thus he finds the need to rush throws. If he cuts down on his throwing errors, it will be because official scorers award “hits” when he stops balls and either holds on to the ball or his accurate throw arrives too late.

      A better-fielding second baseman doesn’t help a poor-fielding shortstop. A second baseman can’t make up for lack of range on the other side of second base in the way he can assist a first baseman or in the way a centerfielder can cover for the corner outfielders.

      • Bat May 17, 2015 at 11:22 am
        A better fielding 2B and a better fielding 3B definitely could help compensate for a below average SS, in the same way that a better fielding LF and a better fielding RF could help compensate for a below average CF.

        Even if you only have half (better fielding SS or better fielding 2B, or better fielding LF or better fielding RF) it enables the lesser fielding individual to be positioned so that he only has to cover a small area of the field.

        That isn’t rocket science.

        • Joe Janish May 18, 2015 at 12:01 am
          Whoever said it WAS rocket science?

          So, your solution to the Flores problem at SS is to find outstanding Gold Glove caliber players flanking him. That means two acquisitions instead of one to fill shortstop. Wouldn’t it be easier to just get one shortstop and move your idol to a position more suited to his limited skill set? Your proposition makes it sound like you want to build the team around him. You think he’s THAT good?

  7. DaveSchneck May 17, 2015 at 12:18 am
    The Wilmer experiment actually needs to answer two questions. The first is not whether he can play legit MLB SS, it is how his bat plays in the bigs. The second is not whether he can play MLB SS, is it about how poorly he plays it. The second question is more of a Met question, but the first is a question for the Mets and potential trading partners. Wilmer has no issue with arm strength, so hopefully his erratic throwing will improve as he settles in. This is important, as it will show scouts he should be fine at 3B. At the plate, he looks somewhat awkward but he gets results and has done so throughout his his professional career. Hunter Pence has looked awkward too, all the way to earning in excess of $100 million in his career (I should be so awkward).

    So, I think the Wilmer experiment lasts longer than we may think. Reynolds’ bat has cooled in AAA, and while Tejada should play every time Nese starts, Wilmer should play when the Mets start anyone else. It is up to the multi-million dollar GM to strengthen the middle infield defense AND the team offense at the same time. That could be done with Wilmer on the team at another position or with Wilmer as part of a trade package to import an upgrade. As hard as it is to watch at times, I stick with Wilmer at SS until a big improvement at the right price becomes available.

    • Joe Janish May 17, 2015 at 10:29 am
      I don’t think there is any team in MLB that thinks Flores is a shortstop. The problem with his value as a trade chip is no one knows where he should be. His slow feet suggest 3B could be a problem. Most scouts likely project Flores as a 1B/LF.
      BTW, Pence’s CAREER OPS as a minor leaguer was 100 points higher than Flores ever accomplished in one full season — that’s the kind of production Flores needs to show to compensate for his defensive deficiencies and lack of speed on the basepaths.
      • DaveSchneck May 17, 2015 at 10:45 pm
        Only comparing Wilmer to Hunter from POV that both look gangley and awkward but manage to produce. Pence has managed to produce to much higher levels, as his tenure and paycheck reflects.

        Regarding the comparison of minor league careers, offensively, it is really apples to oranges. Wilmer was playing advanced A ball before his 19th birthday. Pence was already 22. Both played their AAA ball in the hitter-friendly PCL. Wilmer put up an .887 OPS as a 21 year old and a .935 OPS as a 22 year old. Pence put up an .890 OPS as a 23 year old in AA, and a .945 OPS as a 24 year old in AAA in the PCL. Taking into account his age at each level, Flores’ minor league numbers at AA and AAA are at least as good as Pence;s and may more impressive. Of course, none of that speaks to his ability to field, and field at SS, but he is still only 23 years old, with a MLB OPS so far this season of .740. If he continues to improve, someone will find a place for a bat that puts up an OPS of .800. If the Mets can’t find a place to make it work, the certainly can get something in return fro someone that can.

        • Joe Janish May 18, 2015 at 12:05 am
          Except Flores doesn’t “manage to produce” the way Pence did/does. It’s not even close.

          Also, Pence put up a .900+ OPS in his rookie year and his age-24 season. We’ll see if Flores gets anywhere near that in this, his age-24 season.

        • DaveSchneck May 18, 2015 at 9:54 pm
          Unlikely that Flores will match Pence’s MLB stats but if he can get to .800 OPS in this his age 24 season, he will have trade value if the Mets don’t have a spot for him.
  8. david May 17, 2015 at 4:06 am
    Well, hitting a grand salami extends that leash a bit. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

    Picking up on the last 2 posts, it seems everyone agrees he can and will hit and the only question is whether he can cut the mustard as a SS defensively. I tend to agree with Schneck that he is best placed at 3rd base but time will tell. I’d love him to surprise us all and stick at SS, but my eyes are telling me he is not fast enough with his feet or his release.

    Nice day to be a Mets fan with a laugher today. After Friday I was confused which was the first place team and which was the last place team. Tomorrow is an important test for Thor. Lost of people making the case he is the 2nd best guy they will call up, after Matz, and I wonder if the Mets are showcasing him with the plan to see if they can parlay some early success into a blockbuster? Its all about the pitching, and we’ve got plenty of it. We still need that big bat even after Captain America and TDA return. One guy I do not want to see dealt is Plawecki. He has shown me heaps in his short time with the Mets.

    • Joe Janish May 17, 2015 at 10:39 am
      Plawecki’s “big bat” is producing a batting average in the .220s. But if most of what you saw of him was the two games in which he hit a homerun, I get it.

      Syndergaard is facing the worst team in MLB and the worst-hitting team in MLB, and a team playing a day game after coming off a 14-1 thrashing. What’s the test? It’ll be more of a surprise if the phenom doesn’t pitch well than if he does. So if he goes 5-6 innings, allows a run or two, it proves he can provide a quality start against an awful team — is it that much more indicative of his potential than dominating a AAA club in the PCL? I don’t think scouts will change their opinion of him unless he really craps the bed.

      • david May 20, 2015 at 1:10 am
        My support for Plawecki was not because I see him as the big bat. It is based upon his strong throwing so far, his hitting with RISP, and yes he has a little pop but more importantly he looks like he can hit big league pithcing. In fact, he looks more comfortable than when TDA was first called up, so I say hold him until we know TDA is durable enough to be the long term answer. I hope so, but having 2 very good catchers is a real luxury given the toll the position takes on all of them.

        I agree with your comments about Thor facing the Brewers, and it lends some support for the conspiracy theory that Sandy wants to show him off so he can get Tulo or the like come July or December. We are loaded with RH power arms and hence I am leaning toward Matz – but I admit I’ve never seen him pitch. Still, like a lot of us on this Blog he is from Strong Island so you gotta pull for him to make it in the orange and blue.

  9. Jason M. May 17, 2015 at 11:20 am
    I’m gonna say this not in statistical terms, but in completely objective grumpy-old-man terms.

    I don’t like Flores, because I don’t trust any player who spends more time with his tattoo artist than with his coaching staff. Last season Flores was still hitting in the .220s in late August while displaying an inadequate command of the strike zone (no future All-Star pulls a .286 OBP in their age-22 season), and still found time to suddenly show up with an enormous blotchy ink-bracelet-type thingy encircling his wrist.

    Worry about earning your salary first, before you start throwing it away on degrading your personal appearance!

    And that means you, too, Mat Latos.


    • Joe Janish May 18, 2015 at 12:07 am
      What the heck? I’m supposed to be the curmudgeon here!
    • Bat May 18, 2015 at 9:56 am
      Jason, is Flores expected to practice 24 hours per day?

      He needs some time to sleep and relax, and if wants to take 2-3 hours on a single day to get a tattoo, I can’t see how we can criticize him for that.

      I’m not sure Joe understood what I was saying above. No one is proposing finding two Gold Glove players for 2B and 3B in order to hide Wilmer’s deficiencies there. I think Flores can hit, but I don’t think he can hit that well that you go and acquire two different guys on both sides of him in order to improve the defense.

      I was just saying that (1) practically I think Flores would be better with a reasonable double play partner like Herrera and (2) theoretically, if Flores had Brooks Robinson playing 3B and Bill Mazeroski playing 2B you could hide a Flores-type defensive player in between two players with exceptional defensive range.

      But no one is actually proposing the Mets try and go acquire better defensive players so that Wilmer can play SS; he isn’t the second coming of 19 year old A-Rod there and plus the Mets have Wright playing 3B (for better or worse) for a long time.

      Maybe the most plausible explanation is to do as Ken Rosenthal suggested the Mets were thinking about this weekend, and trade Murphy, move Flores to 2B, and play Reynolds at SS.

      Then, next year, Herrera likely takes over at 2B, and Flores move into some super utility role playing 2B, SS, and 3B (and playing all of those positions not very well) but providing some good offense off the bench with something like a .330 OBP / and .420 slugging percentage, which in this era of low offense would be very good.

      Can Flores OPS something like .750? I think so, with his slugging percentage quite a bit better than his OBP (and you’d prefer the opposite in a vacuum).

      Again, it might be worth remembering that Flores is 23 years old and doesn’t turn 24 years old until August.

      One final thought: another possibility is to stick with Murphy through the end of the year, yet bring up Reynolds to play SS, and put Flores in that type of super utility role this year (with Tejada on the bench and doing something similar when defense is required more than offense). I think the odd man out in this equation is Campbell, and the Mets are probably better with Reynolds at SS and Flores on the bench rather than Flores at SS and Campbell on the bench.

  10. Gabriel May 17, 2015 at 12:12 pm
    According to Ken Rosenthal, upon David Wright’s return the Mets are considering putting Flores at second (to aid his throwing problems) trade Murphy and call up Reynolds to play shortstop. Does that make sense? Where does that leave Herrera?
    • Joe Janish May 18, 2015 at 12:06 am
      That leaves Herrera in Las Vegas, where he belongs for the moment. He may be a good player some day but it looks like he needs more seasoning. Who knows, though — he may be back before the end of the year.
  11. Vilos May 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm
    Currently Flores has an 720 OPS, which isnt that bad, but its not enough. My guess is that as long as he is above 700, he has a leash until the all star break. If he hits above 750 he’ll stick until a better option is available and that might be next year. If he goes under 700, then he has until the end of june.
    The question is, will he get better defensively. If so, then 700-750 should do it.
  12. DaveSchneck May 20, 2015 at 7:50 am
    It may be time for the “How Long a Leash for Mr. Murphy” discussion. With all the focus on Wilmer, Murph’s play in the field this season has been unacceptable for a little leaguer, no less a major league. Yes, the lineup needs bats, but Murph is a career .750 OPS guy that is just killing them in the field. They can certainly do better without much effort. Mr. Wright needs to rub some dirt on his back and get in the lineup, Flores to 2B, get a glove at SS, and start playing major league baseball on the infield.
    • Joe Janish May 20, 2015 at 7:58 am
      • DaveSchneck May 20, 2015 at 8:58 pm
        Yeah, kinda just like that one. Maybe a new one, with italics, or adding a “really really” to it or something. I thought cutting in front of SS to take a double play throw from the pitch was rock bottom, but charging a bunt as the second baseman, that, that may require a headline all its own.
    • Vilos May 20, 2015 at 10:34 am
      I believe that its the same leash.

      Murphys a 750 life, currently hitting 680 and sabermetrics proyections have him at 720 for the year. So basically he’s a Wilmer Flores with experience and a lower ceiling.

      Its pretty obvious both dont stick for the long term and maybe neither, but for now, this is a good management story to watch. In Murphy, MLB knows what he is, therefore the value range is established. In Flores, the jury is still out. Who does Sandy deal and what does he get back. We’ll soon see

      • Vilos May 20, 2015 at 10:54 am
        If I had to make a bet, I would say that Sandy will deal Murphy and maybe both. He’s probably hoping that Murphy stays healthy and continues to trend his hitting upward towards his plateau, while Flores continues to hang on, hitting above 700 and reducing his errors. If that occurs, then he can wait out the right deal to come to him.
        • Extragooey May 20, 2015 at 1:46 pm
          I can’t see getting more than a bag of balls for Murphy. This is Murphy’s walk year. He really needs to hit well to get a contract somewhere, at least as a starter, probably close to his line in 2011 of .320/.362/.448. He’s no where close to that. He has no position. The best place for him is probably 3rd base. He needs to hit at that level to overcome the Murphisms that he keeps inventing. The charging in from 2nd base on a bunt yesterday was pretty priceless. Kieth Hernandez’s reaction said it all. At this point, I don’t even get upset anymore, I just smile and shake my head.